Nashville Golf Courses: Where to Play the Best Greens

Nashville is one of the hottest destinations in America, and its Southern-chic lifestyle keeps local golf courses busy. Two choices on this list — Belle Meade and Richland country clubs — have served the area for 100-plus years. Additionally, both called upon iconic golf designer Donald Ross to architect their courses. So learn about these greens, find public and private options, and read about the best Nashville golf courses to play.

Best Nashville Golf Courses: Where to Play in Music City

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Harpeth Hills Golf Course (Public)

One of the premier public golf courses in Tennessee, Harpeth Hills Golf Course opened in 1965 and features a natural wildlife habitat that surrounds the par-72 championship layout. This municipal course challenges golfers of all levels and presents one of the most picturesque views in Nashville from its hilltop clubhouse.

In the ’70s, Harpeth Hills hosted the annual Pro-Celeb tourney that featured megastars from music and sports. Harpeth Hills then became a regional qualifying site for USGA Public Links Championship. Today, it continues to draw players who enjoy affordability, well maintained greens and local hospitality.

Gaylord Springs Golf Links (Public)

Carved from the banks of Cumberland River, the Scottish links-style, par-72 layout at Gaylord Springs offers 18 holes bordered by limestone bluffs and wetlands. The resort-affiliated public course offers surprises around every fairway bend, forcing golfers to think on every shot.

Designed by U.S. Open and PGA champion Larry Nelson, Gaylord Springs demands accuracy to stay clear of bunkers, water hazards, and rolling grass mounds. During play, the course rewards creativity and provides a soft touch around Bermuda grass greens.

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Belle Meade Country Club (Private)

This five-star private golf course in West Nashville offers 18 holes on a par-72 layout. The club, which once hosted an Arnold Palmer exhibition attended by thousands, features Bermuda grass and was originally designed in 1901 by legendary Scottish architect Donald Ross. In 2004, legendary designer Rees Jones remodeled the course at Belle Meade Country Club.

Those lucky enough to play Belle Meade find stunning landscape, tight fairways and unforgiving rough. In addition, expect a game that tests even the best players.

Shelby Park Golf Course (Public)

Situated in East Nashville, Shelby Golf Course opened in 1924, and was the first municipal golf course in Nashville. Part of an urban park that borders Cumberland River with walking trails and picnic areas, this hilly 18-hole layout ranks among local favorites.

However, don’t underestimate this spot. Shelby Golf Course plays harder than it looks with elevated greens, rolling hills, natural water hazards and wildlife. While navigating the course, keep an eye out for photo ops as well.

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Two Rivers Golf Course (Public)

From the back tees, this 18-hole Donelson-area public layout offers a challenging but enjoyable game for golfers. Built in 1973, Two Rivers Golf Course was redesigned in 1991, and the greens upgraded to Ultradwarf Bermuda in 2016.

The new surface places Two Rivers’ greens among the best in the state and among the best Nashville golf courses. One visual perk awaits golfers at the eighth hole, which provides an impressive view of Nashville’s skyline.

McCabe Golf Course (Public)

Nestled along the city’s greenway in the Sylvan Park area, McCabe was voted the best place to play golf in Music City by Nashville Scene. Even better, the 27-hole facility includes a practice range open year-round. The original 18 holes were built in 1942 and display large, tree-lined fairways and sand bunkers.

An additional nine-hole course was later added. McCabe Golf Course also underwent a renovation in 2007, which included rebuilding green and tee complexes. The course provides challenges for experienced golfers, but also operates as an ideal venue for beginners.

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Richland Country Club (Private)

For over 30 years, Richland Country Club has enjoyed its location on a Civil War site with its par-72 private Jack Nicklaus layout. Richland’s former days were spent on a downtown site that flourished since opening in 1921.

That original layout, designed by Donald Ross, once hosted PGA events won by Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan. Today, the Richland course sports five sets of tees with water hazards coming into play on several holes. In addition, mature trees stand ready to alter shots as well.

Percy Warner Golf Course (Public)

Set alongside the entrance to scenic Percy Warner Park, this popular nine-holer has long enthralled Nashville golf enthusiasts for its picturesque charm, simplicity and golfer-friendliness.

While a playable par 34 at 2,600 yards, Percy Warner Golf Course demands attention with tree-lined fairways and small undulating greens. Fun fact: The course has earned a reputation among the best Nashville golf courses for newcomers to first learn how to play the game.

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